Healthcare Industry News:  Xenon Pharmaceuticals 


 News Release - December 7, 2006

Xenon Enters Into Anemia Collaboration With Roche

Xenon to Receive $7 Million for Equity, and Could Potentially Receive $44 Million From Research Funding and Milestone Payments

VANCOUVER, Canada, Dec. 7 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Xenon today announced a partnership with Roche to discover and develop protein therapeutics targeting hemojuvelin (HJV) as a novel approach for the treatment of anemia of inflammation. Xenon discovered HJV as the defective protein underlying Juvenile Hemochromatosis and this protein appears to play an important role in the regulation and availability of iron for red blood cell production.

"We are very excited to be collaborating with Roche," said Simon Pimstone, President and CEO of Xenon. "We recognize that Roche is a leading company in the field of anemia and also one with significant presence in biologics. Roche is the ideal partner for developing protein modulators of hemojuvelin."

Xenon and Roche have entered into an exclusive worldwide research and license agreement to jointly research protein-based inhibitors of HJV. In addition to the research and license agreement, the Roche Venture Fund has purchased $7 Million of Xenon stock.

The research term is for 2 years and upon the achievement of a series of research, development and regulatory milestones, Xenon may be eligible to receive payments of up to $44 Million for the first product and further payments for subsequent products. Roche will also pay Xenon undisclosed royalties on sales of resulting products, and Xenon has retained an option to co-promote therapeutic products in Canada. Further, the collaborative agreement provides Roche with an option to commercialize HJV-based diagnostics, as well as an option to license small molecule inhibitors of HJV that Xenon develops.

Anemia of inflammation, the second most common form of anemia after iron deficiency, is an acquired disorder associated with a variety of conditions including infections, cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. HJV represents a novel target that when inhibited may reverse the iron disturbances observed in anemia of inflammation and thereby facilitate red blood cell production.

About Xenon

Xenon is a privately owned, clinical genetics-based drug discovery and development company engaged in developing novel small molecule therapies based on the genetic causes of select metabolic, neurological and cardiovascular diseases. Xenon's products include XEN401 (pain) and XEN501 (cardiac arrhythmia), both of which are in IND-enabling pre-clinical development. Certain rights to XEN401 in select Asian countries have been exclusively licensed to Takeda. In addition to the HJV program, Xenon has other discovery stage programs focused on disorders of iron overload and atherosclerosis. Xenon also has an ongoing R&D collaboration and license agreement with Novartis for developing small molecule modulators targeting SCD1 for multiple indications. For more information, visit the Company's website at .

About Roche as a Partner

Roche is a valued partner to more than 60 companies worldwide. Over the past two years, Roche has led the pharmaceutical industry in the number of clinical compound deals signed. To date in 2006, Roche has entered into nine partnerships to jointly develop products for optimal patient benefit and value. Partnerships continue to strengthen Roche's positions in oncology, virology, transplantation, and primary care. Roche's partnering culture encourages innovation through a unique pairing of collaboration and autonomy.

About the Roche Venture Fund

The Roche Venture Fund invests in early stage biotech and diagnostics companies to support innovative technologies and medicines. Based in Basel, Switzerland, the Roche Venture Fund invests globally with a portfolio of over 25 companies in 10 countries.

This release contains forward-looking statements that are not based on historical fact. These forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward- looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

Source: Xenon Pharmaceuticals

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